Full Agenda

Tuesday | March 30

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: FROM DIGITAL TO DAZZLING: REDEFINING LIVE EVENTS FOR TODAY'S WORLD

If you were happy to have just survived your shift to virtual events last year, you are in good company. But 2021 brings with it much higher expectations. Dynamic digital events, innovative attendee engagement, seamless hybrid experiences, and increased ROI are all on short order. In this workshop, we will use data to examine attendee expectations and how you can map your event strategies to meet or exceed them.

In this highly-interactive deep dive, industry experts will break down:
• Fresh engagement ideas for Zoom-fatigued audiences.
• How to level up your high-profile content with Hollywood-quality productions
• Trends in attendee behaviors, needs, expectations
• Practical tips to go from virtual to hybrid to in person (and keep everyone safe and happy)

Powered by Freeman
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: 2021 OPERATIONS UPDATE: HOW TO PLAN IN TIMES OF CHANGE

Constant change is the new normal in 2021. In this operations workshop—filled with all brand spanking new insights for 2021—we’re bringing you the up-to-the-minute operations and logistics headlines you need to have on your radar in Q1, and then we’re digging deep into the portfolios of some of the biggest experiential brands to find out how they’re planning ahead when “ahead” is a moving target.

Part ops primer and part strategic playbook, this workshop will arm you with:
• Venue and contract insights: what you’ll see in your 2021 contracts.
• Spacing requirements: how much space you’ll need to satisfy distancing rules.
• Ways to boost attendee confidence: what you’ll need to do—and communicate.
• F&B updates: how catering prices, options and services will change this year.
• Strategic planning tips: how to plan for the best and worst—at the same time.
Presented By:

Kelly Knowlen

Executive Director of Sales Engagement & Special Events
Hilton Worldwide

Yen Tsutsumi

SVP of Integrated Production
George P. Johnson

Jaime Blackerby

Event Producer
George P. Johnson

Vanessa Leitman

Head of PR & Experiential
Resy, American Express Global Dining Network
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
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CHILDCARE: FUN FOR YOUR KIDS, UNINTERRUPTED TIME FOR YOU

Get the iPad set up in another room and let our professionals entertain and engage your little ones in our daily one-hour childcare Zooms. Your kids can craft, sing, dance and have fun while you sharpen your skillset for the future. Appropriate for all children ages 2-7.
Hosted by: Treasure Trunk Theatre

Today’s Theme: Dinosaur Day! Get ready to roar with us on an exciting, interactive adventure to the prehistoric era! Kiddos are welcome to grab two toilet paper tubes to use as binoculars on our journey.
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
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MIXOLOGY MASTER CLASS

We’re bringing one of the hottest virtual event trends directly to your kitchen. Celebrate the end of your first day at EMS with a hands-on networking activity that will have you shaking up tasty cocktails (or mocktails!) with your fellow EMS attendees.

Powered by: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Wednesday | March 31

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM
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POD SAVE EXPERIENTIAL

Put on your favorite “workleisure” pants, grab your earbuds and get outside for a little audio learning—on the go. Our podcast will feature a candid conversation with top event executives from some of the biggest brands in experiential. Find out what’s on their minds, what’s in their playbooks and how they plan to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
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CHILDCARE: FUN FOR YOUR KIDS, UNINTERRUPTED TIME FOR YOU

Get the iPad set up in another room and let our professionals entertain and engage your little ones in our daily one-hour childcare Zooms. Your kids can craft, sing, dance and have fun while you sharpen your skillset for the future. Appropriate for all children ages 2-7. Hosted by: Treasure Trunk Theatre
Today’s Theme: Wild West Wednesday! Grab your horse and meet us out on the range! We can't wait for you to join us on the farm for an exciting adventure. Kiddos can grab a hat, scarf, or anything that makes them ready to gallop all the way to the wild west!
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
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WELCOME AND KEYNOTE

If there’s ever been a year for a rock anthem, it’s this one. Join us and our friends at Song Division as we kick off the show with an interactive song-writing experience where you—yes, you—will help craft the event industry’s 2021 theme song. ‘80’s hair bands will have nothing on this power track. Then stick around because we’re kicking off our educational curriculum with a behind-the-scenes look at how one of the most innovative marketing and event organizations in the industry is changing course and moving its objectives forward in 2021. This is a pandemic-era case study not to be missed.
Presented By:

Kirstie Rivard

Head of Experiential
Visible
12:45 PM – 1:15 PM
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GETTING OUT THERE AGAIN: CANDID INSIGHTS FROM RECENT REAL-WORLD ACTIVATIONS

Go inside some of the first activations to “get back out there” in this case study-focused session where you’ll see some real-world examples of activations in the post-COVID era. Get lessons from the brand marketers executing events right now. Hear what they learned about everything from operational planning to attendee behaviors and expectations. Walk away with candid cautionary tales and smart pointers for your 2021 live events.
Presented By:

Heather Themelis

Sports Marketing Lead
The Home Depot

Matt Chelap

Vice President
Octagon
12:45 PM – 1:15 PM
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HOW SAP DEVISED A NEW GENRE OF EVENT CONTENT AMID THE PANDEMIC, AND HOW YOU CAN TOO

Seventy percent of event marketers say hybrid events are here to stay, but what does a successful hybrid strategy look like right now? In this session, SAP ANZ (Australia/New Zealand) will reveal how the brand moved swiftly to evolve its event marketing strategy amid the pandemic. Leaning on specific examples, you’ll learn how SAP ANZ remained committed to its audience by launching brand new educational events and transitioning in-person ones to dynamic hybrid experiences that pushed the boundaries of what event content should be. Join for tips on devising compelling content and interactive experiences in hybrid settings, keeping your event front of mind long after it ends, and hear what’s in store for SAP ANZ’s audience in 2021 as it emerges from the pandemic.
Presented By:

Rushenka Perera

Head of Marketing ANZ
SAP

Fiona Pullen

Director of Production
INVNT
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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TOP TIPS FOR TRANSFORMING YOUR TRADE SHOW STRATEGY TO VIRTUAL

Trade show marketers, we feel you. It was tough one in 2020, but 2021 is offering a whole new digital playground filled with options and opportunities to engage with your target prospects and buyers. In this session, we’ll look at some of the best case studies in the market right now, including exclusive insights from some of the smartest activations at the first-ever all virtual CES.
Presented By:

Damaris Toma

Experiential Marketing Lead
LG Business Solutions, US

Rhonda McNally

Vice President of Marketing
Magna International

Jenn King

Senior Account Director
Pinnacle
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
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NETWORKING BREAK

Get to know your fellow EMS attendees in a fun and interactive networking activity that will shake up your day and break up your Zoom fatigue.
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT LESSONS FROM ESPORTS MARKETERS

2020 hit esports events hard but for a sports platform that’s played almost entirely online, the digital brand activation game remained strong. Listen in as esports-savvy brands and esports experts take you inside their playbooks for a primer on meaningful engagements and smart activations when face-to-face isn’t part of the equation. Learn what to do (and definitely not to do) to capture the attention of tough-to-please and time-strapped digital audiences. Walk away smarter about streaming, gaming and how you might use both as a part of your 2021 strategy.
Presented By:

Hunter Qualls

Senior Marketing Manager, Partnerships, Sponsorships, Experiential
Jack Link’s
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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CREATIVE STRATEGY: HOW TO REIMAGINE YOUR EVENTS AND SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATIONS

Some of the most imaginative activations of 2020 may have never happened had it not been for the pandemic. In this session we’ll go inside some of the most notable to learn how event organizations are reframing their thinking and their strategies to solve pain points and meet objectives. Learn how to approach your pre-pandemic portfolio with an open mind and how to encourage the kind of unfettered creativity you need to solve today’s biggest business challenges.
Presented By:

Caren Holmes

Senior Experiential Producer
The Clorox Company

Daniel Blake

VP-Value Brands
Anheuser-Busch
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
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MASTERING THE HYBRID EVENT: FOCUS ON OPERATIONS & LOGISTICS

Jump into event ops to get the up-to-the-minute story on the venues, permits, platforms, rules and regulations you’ll need locked in before executing a live + virtual experience. Learn what COVID-safe indoor programming will look like in 2021. Understand what the new space considerations will mean for venue selection, city permits and budgets. Get tips on how to craft impactful and meaningful face-to-face and at-home experiences that are safe and effective.
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
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#TRENDING: DESIGNING TARGETED COMMUNITY ACTIVATIONS

Small is quickly becoming the new big as event marketers embrace more targeted and localized activations. Go inside one of the year’s biggest trends to learn how to translate a formerly “big” event strategy into something that still gets you the facetime you need—just on a smaller, and some could argue, smarter—scale. Get operational insights on how to deploy smaller-scale strategies with hygiene and safety top of mind.
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
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WHAT’S NEXT IN VIRTUAL TECH: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES WITH AR/VR

Social VR, VRchat and 3D avatars are just a few of the new technology tools available to event marketers looking for a way to bring something unique to their screen-fatigued attendees. In this session, we’ll take a closer look at the cutting-edge tech shaking up the industry, and how they can be applied to virtual conferences and experiences.
Presented By:

Jennifer Hinkle

Senior Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy
Tennessee Titans

James Giglio

CEO
MVP Interactive
4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
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THE 30 SMARTEST PANDEMIC-ERA ACTIVATIONS

Last year was tough, but it didn’t stop event marketers from finding innovative ways to carry on in the face of adversity. In this closing session, the editors of Event Marketer—and special industry guests—will take you on a rapid-fire tour of the 30 pandemic-era programs that slayed… so far. Listen in and snag some fresh ideas, and then stay for a few closing remarks on what was shared and learned at EMS Spring.
Presented By:

Jessica Heasley

Group Editor and Publisher
Event Marketer magazine

Rachel Boucher

Executive Editor
Event Marketer magazine
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
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‘RECORD’ RELEASE PARTY

You’ve worked on it all day, now join your fellow event professionals as you lay your collective ears on the final musical anthem for the event industry. Get ready to rock because we’re going to play it loud and play it proud. And we’re going to have some fun while we do it. You won’t want to miss this highly interactive closing session.